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Map ‘master’ finds himself on the map

Winning image: David Sherren’s photograph of Wastwater in the Lake District, which was chosen by Ordnance Survey as a new cover image for one of its maps

Winning image: David Sherren’s photograph of Wastwater in the Lake District, which was chosen by Ordnance Survey as a new cover image for one of its maps

The University’s map librarian, David Sherren, is one of a number of amateur photographers to have their photo chosen for the covers of new Ordnance Survey maps.

David’s stunning photo of Wastwater in the Lake District was chosen as one of three cover images people can choose between when buying the new Three Peaks Challenge map.

The map shows routes for Scafell Pike, Ben Nevis and Snowdon.

David said: “As a map enthusiast I can hardly tell you how excited I am to have my image on an OS map cover.”

Wastwater, which is England’s deepest lake, is one of David’s favourite spots and an area he has visited many times over the past 40 years. He has also climbed and photographed most of the surrounding fells.

A copy of the map is likely to find its way into the University’s library, which contains thousands of Ordnance Survey maps, including one of the most comprehensive collections of historic OS maps of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

The library also contains a few curiosities, including a 1:500,000 Tactical Pilotage Chart of the South Atlantic that depicts over 100,000 square miles of (almost) empty sea.

One of David’s favourite maps is a former top secret map of Portsmouth, one of 91 known maps of British and Irish towns produced by the Soviets during the Cold War. In it, industrial buildings are shown in black, military sites in green.

David said: “Curiously, only three buildings are coloured in violet to indicate their involvement in governmental or administrative activity. One is the former HM Prison Kingston, another is a warehouse adjacent to the Camber Dock, while the third is the University Library!”

Many of the 15,000 maps in the library collection have been donated.

David said: “In the past we have received about 500 maps a year from the Defence Geographic Centre. In 2009 the Ordnance Survey gave us their collection of over 3,000 County Series maps of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, including a complete collection of superbly detailed large scale plans of Portsmouth from the 1860s.

“The oldest map we hold, a manuscript map of the Southwick Estate from about 1810, was also a donation.”

The map collection belonged first to the Department of Geography, then the former Portland Learning Resources Centre. It has been housed in the Library since 2007. The majority of users come from architecture, earth and environmental sciences, civil engineering and geography, but many students studying other subjects ask for historic mapping of the local area and for help with digital mapping.

David is one of just a handful of people in the UK with the job title of Map Librarian or Map Curator.

He is a member of the Map Curators’ Group, a specialist interest group of the British Cartographic Society, the Society of Cartographers and The Charles Close Society for the Study of Ordnance Survey Maps. He has also been a member of the Horndean Amateur Theatrical Society for 30 years and plays percussion for the Portsmouth Light Orchestra.

6 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. Well done David. This is a beautiful photography and it’s great to see someone so knowledgeable about maps actually on one!

  2. A beautiful photograph and a well deserved honour for you David,.

  3. Congratulations, David.

  4. Thank you everyone for your comments and emails. Glad you like the photo.

    • What brilliant photography. You picture certainly deserves to be on an OS cover.

      Well done


  5. Congratulations on a fabulous photograph and what a wonderful place to have it published – a real place in history.

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